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Shimrit Shoshan: Movin’ on Up

Israeli-born pianist Shimrit Shoshan reflects on her hard-won burgeoning career

Before reaching a level where she could close opening night of the 2011 Winter Jazzfest in Greenwich Village, Israeli-born pianist Shimrit Shoshan had worked a slew of odd jobs to make ends meet: dealing precious stones in Manhattan’s diamond district, plying her dance skills in the background of music videos for Seal and Thalía, selling real estate, and at one point even slinging sandwiches on the streets. It’s been a hardscrabble road, but when Shoshan set her sights on a pilgrimage to the holy land of jazz, she never expected a parting of the Red Sea.

Shoshan recently self-released her debut, Keep It Movin’, which features top-notch personnel in drummer Eric McPherson, bassists John Hébert and Luques Curtis and saxophonist Abraham Burton. As the project’s title makes clear, she’s not playing the waiting game. “Sometimes I feel like I should regret that time where I worked in different things. But, thinking about it, I don’t regret it, because there’s so much that I learned, and those experiences come out through the music. I feel like I was slow cooking,” Shoshan, 27, says of the album.

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